STL Science Center

STL Science Center

05 February 2016

Thieving Dakota

Emily Willoughby
Recently, as recent as 2015, a new dromaeosaur was described by DePalma, et al. after its discovery and retrieval from South Dakota in 2005. Estimated sizes range from 5 to 6 meters for the large dromaeosaur Dakotaraptor steini. The existing animal consists of vertebral, forelimb, and hindlimb remains, including a number of the large foot claws that are diagnostic of the dromaeosaur family in general. The large dinosaur has many unique attributes and includes pneumatized trabecular bones. This dinosaur was built for many purposes and the most important attribute of the whole organism was the fact that the dinosaur was built for speed and absolute carnage, as a carnivorous dinosaur. Additionally though, dromaeosaurs are often considered to have had pack mentalities and the capacity for pack-like parenting skills. All of these skeletal characteristics and unknown but hypothesized behavioral traits will be of great importance throughout the week as we paint a more complete picture of Dakotaraptor.

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